By Mustapha Jallow
A senior discharged member of the Gambia Armed Forces said he is yet to receive his benefits. ‘‘The process is very slow because yesterday I went to the bank and the cashier told me that no money has been posted in my account yet,’’ he lamented. He continued:‘‘So I haven’t receive my salaries, neither the benefits. If you discharge a family man like that and you mentioned in his letter that he will be given his accrued benefits and nothing happens, then things will not go right with that person and his family at home.’’
The former officer said there has not been any reason established to them about their discharge from the GAF; that many people have asked him to leave the country but according him, he has done nothing wrong to warrant him leave the country. ‘‘I will not run because I didn’t do anything wrong. GAF has decided to discharge me from the army. I will take it in good faith and concentrate on how to support my young family and my country,’’ he said. That while at work on 9th October 2017, he received a letter indicating that he was discharged from the Army. ‘‘I received this letter at 6pm from one Captain Alagie Njie who is currently the acting legal officer for the Armed Forces,’’ he said. He said they were also surprised after realizing that their discharge was effected since the 6th October but the letter was handed over to them on the 9th. It was earlier reported that the country’s military Chief, Lt. Gen. Masanneh Kinteh, issued discharge letters to seven senior members of the Gambia Armed Forces, effective 6th October 2017.
This medium’s reporter was shown a signed discharged letter by the CDS, as proof of what he was talking about.
Sources revealed that Major Gibba was one time posted at the Guards Battalion in Fajara Barracks, where he served in the Commanding Company for 2 years, before being redeployed to lead the Military Intelligence unit. His residence in Busumbala, according to sources was guarded by senior military police who were also heavily armed.
‘‘A group of military police officers came into the compound while Gibba was away and started requesting for his military uniform which was later handed over to the said officers. Gibba’s mother collapsed because of the heavy presence of military men and his wife wept when they came to arrest her husband,’’ relatives who witnessed the incident, told this reporter.
However Military sources revealed to this medium that some of the discharged officers were part of the security sector reform, attached to the technical working group.
When contacted GAF spokesperson Major Lamin K. Sanyang said the officers will receive their benefits.
‘‘You know the processing of some of these things take time and the month has also just ended. It’s their constitutional right to get them. So they will surely get them,’’ he promised.
On the reasons behind discharging of the seven officers, the GAF PRO said the authorities are going through reforms and as at now everybody should know that the country has a new political dispensation. ‘‘So if you’re found wanting in one way or the other, we have to let you go,’’ he said.